Medvedev to visit Kurils on next Japan trip: Kremlin
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit the disputed Kuril Islands on his next visit to Japan, a Kremlin source said Friday amid a growing diplomatic row over the archipelago.
Japan has already warned than any visit by Medvedev would seriously hurt ties after he said he planned to visit the islands while on a trip to the Far East this week and was only prevented by bad weather.
The source declined to say when the visit would be but Medvedev is expected to visit Japan for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.
The Kuril Islands, which lie north of Japan's Hokkaido island, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops in 1945 at the end of World War II but Tokyo still claims the southernmost four islands as Japanese territory.
Russia has expressed indignation that Japan interfering in the plans of the president to travel within his own country.
The archipelago of some 56 islands cascades down from the tip of the Kamchatka peninsula towards Hokkaido island from which the southernmost island is only a few kilometres distant.
© 2010 AFP